Auckland Meccano Guild

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Meeting Report february 2009

The February meeting was held at the home of Neil Carey in Hillsborough Auckland on February the 14th.
A large number of enthusiasts attended, including one from the UK and a new member joined the group.

Neil Carey had made up a bush tramway locomotive using a mixture of colours while his grandson Matthew had made up a racing boat and trailer using the new vintage meccano set.

Gerald hart had brought along a nice selection of models including an early type of biplane in mainly read and green with some mustard yellow flexible plates used on the control surfaces. The design is based on early Wright brothers aircraft design of about 1910.
Gerald also had a compact model of a steam powered traction engine using some non standard parts for the wheel hubs. It ran well, powered by a 6 volt motor. He brought a well designed racing bike in various colours and a beam engine which performed well.

Gary Higgins had brought along a model straddle lifter made from the new infra red sets available, he had altered the construction to give the model more stability.
Gary had discovered that tri axle parts can be threaded using a standard screwed rod, which makes them then available for fitting onto a screwed rod or a tri axle. In this manner a number of the flat tri axle gears can be stacked together and secured with a nut to make up a multiple gear.

William Irwin spoke on the progress being made on the Meccano Differential Analyser, which is undergoing restoration at the Museum of Transport and technology in Auckland. He thanked the many people who had contributed time and effort towards the restoration with special thanks to John Denton for the many hours he had put into the project.
William will try and organise a day when club members can visit and view the machine in operation. William has also said there is some interest from the Auckland University who have students studying the history of computers and this would be an excellent chance to get the machine more public awareness.
Currently the work is being undertaken by William and Gary Higgins , the restoration has progressed to the point where part of the machine is now in operating condition and tests are underway to find the best settings for running it.

Gary brought along a video of the machine in operation which is also available on the Guild web site or on u-tube.

William also brought along a number of the Meccano magazines he subscribes to for members to look through.
John Pond joined us from the UK. He is here for an extended period of a
number of months and will be travelling around the country. As every good meccanoman knows a small travelling model is essential and John had packed in a model of a sail cart ( I guess we might call it a land yacht ) using the specialised vinyl parts of an English "C" set to construct the sail. It was Ideal for travelling being light and yet large enough and unusual enough to provide interest. John will be exhibiting the model at Christchurch.

John also brought pictures of his two ploughing engines and harrow, these really were most impressive , modeled in blue gold but John would have been seriously overweight if he had brought them with him.

Henry Porter always surprises me with the size and complexity of the models that he builds , usually without the benefit of any model plan, he did not disappoint. Henry brought along a large model of a gravel dredge , used on the rivers in the 1930's He had built the model up using a plethora of parts from a number of systems and had built the small dredge buckets by hand.

The model was a mass of detail and spanned almost the length of the table . Henry also had a Bucket wheel trench digger and a schools class southern rail 4,4,0 locomotive, these were not on display at the meeting but pictures can be seen on the meccano web site for those who missed them.

Les Megget had made up a model of a small bucket digger, the model was used by Meccano Ltd as one of the activated display models operated by a motor under the stand. Les is going to recreate a number of the models he made up in his meccano boy days, we look forward to seeing more of his creations.

Mike Stuart had brought along a rather impressive locomotive in silver and red meccano powered by two meccano 1970s electric motors..

Rick Vine brought along a Crazy inventors clock which he had resurrected from a set which had some damaged parts a nice mini traction engine and a magic box , a sliding meccano box on a string.

John Denton brought along a stunning red arrows display made up of three of the aircraft mounted on stainless steel rods with a cloud background… wow it looked great.

Our newest member Michael Holderness was welcomed to the club and was involved in meccano in the 1970's when he received a 3m set as a gift. Since then he built up the set using accessory boxes to a set 8 and along with gear sets and other parts and recently he decided to get back into modeling. He had many questions for club members re availability of parts and where to buy them and I'm sure he gained a lot from attending the meeting. We look forward to seeing him at future meetings.

Others to attend were:

Richard Sealey who has recently housed his newly aquired no 10 set ( made up from 9 and 9A ) in a black engineers cabinet, I shall be around to get photos of this layout.
George Ovenden
David Wall
Andrew Wells
Bob Pentney
Peter Hancock
Bruce Haines
Peter Hancock gave the members a run down of the proposals for the up next model x show at queens birthday weekend and it appears that the arrangements will be an improvement on last year.
He also went over final arrangements for the Christchurch exhibition in Easter and commented that it was pleasing to see that a large Auckland contingent will be attending.
Les Megget , the magazine editor had some comments about the future of the New Zealand Federation magazine.

Because of the difficulty in finding materials for 24 pages of copy every 2 months it has been decided to reduce the number of magazines to 4, this is a logical step and is in keeping with what most of the overeas magazines are doing.
The subscription cost will drop slightly but the standard of the articles will , as always remain high.

Thanks to Les and the magazine team for their tremendous efforts with this magazine and remember if you have a meccano story or are knowledgeable about a special era or topic please draft up an article and send it onto Les.

Special thanks to the ladies for providing an excellent afternoon tea

As Promised the two extra models made by Henry Porter

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